Nine Holes with Anthony Kim

Behind the buckle, there’s one heck of a golfer.

ProfilesThe most promising young gun on the PGA Tour these days just might be Anthony Kim. He has, as they say, all the shots, plus some enormous belt buckles. In fact, going into this season, he was perhaps better known for his brash demeanor and flashy belt hardware than for his play. But after winning twice in 2008, people are taking notice of how much talent this 23 year-old has.

Good thing. He seems poised to break out (as if winning twice this year isn’t “breaking out”). He’s among the favorites at the 2008 FedEx Cup, which he enters in 5th place (4th if you eliminate Tiger, who still leads the point race despite missing the last two months of the season following reconstructive knee surgery). Kim’s performance in majors makes me wonder if he’ll win one before Sergio does.

Anthony Kim certainly merits paying attention to. Happily, he’s hard to miss with all the glare coming off that belt buckle.

2008 FedExCup Playoffs Rundown

The FedExCup playoffs are here, and it’s time for some predictions.

Thrash TalkWhen the FedExCup was announced, there were mixed reactions from the golf world. Fast forward to 2008, and there are still a lot of different opinions on the first-ever playoff system in golf. Nonetheless, this year’s FedExCup playoffs start today.

Things aren’t perfect with the current playoff system (144 golfers is far too many for a playoff), but golf fans are still going to have a chance to see some high-quality golf over the next month or so. Even though Tiger won’t be able to defend this year, eight of the top 10 golfers are playing the Barclays this week. The fields will be strong, the courses will be nice, and the golfers will be playing for $10 million. That sounds like a winning recipe.

Which golfers are going to be the toughest to beat this year? Also, which golfers might have a disappointing run the next month? Finally, who might get hot late in the season and make a surprising run up the FedExCup standings? Keep reading to get my thoughts on this year’s playoffs.

Eric Hunt Swing Analysis

In this edition we look at causes and corrections for block shots.

Swing CheckEric Hunt, known on the forum as Whip_It_Out, resides in Texas and plays (as he descirbes it) a hilly, treeless, windy course known as Twin Creeks. At the time of the video captures seen in this article, Eric played to a 8.4 handicap on his home course. Eric’s misses tend to be off the toe of the club with the ball flying to the right of the intended target.

During this Swing Check we’ll look at his setup, backswing, and impact positions, and how each may encourage Eric’s blocked shots to the right of his target.

Fall 2008 Sneak Peak: Titleist Vokey Wedges and Cameron Putters

A sneak peek at Bob Vokey’s most extensive line of wedges to date and some new flatsticks from Scotty Cameron.

Bag DropLast week we brought you the news of Titleist’s fall 2008 909 driver, fairway wood, and hybrid lineup. This week we bring news of the rest of the new Titleist gear: Bob Vokey’s most complete line of wedges ever and some new creations from putter craftsman Scotty Cameron.

With the spring release of the AP2 and AP1 irons (along with the ZB and ZM) and new putters, and the impending release of new drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids, new wedges and putters will mark a wholesale replacement of Titleist’s equipment line in 2008.

Read on as you prepare to have your wallet lightened a bit this fall.

Volume One Hundred Fifty Seven

The Champions Tour is Funky, it’s PGA Tour playoff time again, and I think that dog just ate my golfball!

Hittin' the LinksWelcome again to another volume of Hittin’ the Links. Even though all the major championships are finished for the year, it has still been an interesting week in the golf. I waded through all that was out there and came up with these nine links. Enjoy.

In this volume of HTL we take inventory at the Women’s Canadian Open, see why it took three majors to convince Padraig he was pretty good, and find out why the Champions Tour is feeling kinda Funky. Also, we take a peek at some custom golf carts, check in on Tiger’s rehabilitation, find out who won this week’s Tour stop, and investigate how a dog can eat a golf ball in mid flight. Read on!

Caesar Featherie Dimpleless Golf Ball Review

There’s no other golf ball like the Caesar. Find out why in this review.

Ceasar Dimpleless Golf BallA baseball pitcher can make the ball curve because the stitched seams disrupt an otherwise smooth surface. The seams “grip” the air when the baseball is in flight and can cause the ball to curve, dip, rise, and dive on its way to the plate, frustrating batters.

The golf ball’s equivalent of seams are dimples. Every reasonably well-struck shot in golf has backspin, and backspin creates aerodynamic lift, which keeps a golf ball climbing in the air well beyond what would be its maximum height without the aid of lift. The dimples, like the seams of a baseball, provide a little “grip.”

Of course, the downside is that the same is true in the horizontal direction as well: any sidespin applied to the golf ball will result in the dimples “gripping” the air and turning the ball to the left or right. Good players can play draws and fades, but bad players are plagued by hooks and slices.

The folks at Caesar Golf Company have eliminated the problems of hooks and slices by – get this – eliminating the dimples. Their ball, the Caesar “Featherie,” is round like a pool ball. Unfortunately, eliminating hooks and slices also eliminates the aerodynamic lift, so the Featheries are also a shorter golf ball.

We played several rounds with the Featherie. Read on to see if we feel the tradeoff is worth it.

Changes the Tours Should Consider

If I was king of the PGA and LPGA, a few things would change.

Trap Five LogoEver had the road to yourself early in the morning and you pull up to one of those stoplights that still works on a timer rather than having sensors to detect when traffic is around? It’s pretty annoying.

Sometimes professional golf is like that. It doesn’t always keep up with the times in terms of rules. Don’t get me wrong… I love the traditions of golf, but there are some practices on the tours that could be changed to improve the spectator experience.

So at the risk of offending staunch traditionalists, I’m going to make some suggestions that could improve the pace of play, fashion sense, and fan experience of professional golf (even at the risk of bending the immovable obstruction rule). I’m not entirely serious about these solutions, but I think they do point out a few annoying aspects of modern professional golf. Here are some things that really get my goat (and one that just strikes me as a little silly)… Nothing that a local rule or two couldn’t fix.

Captain Azinger is on the Clock

Find out which golfers Paul Azinger should pick for this year’s U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Thrash TalkI want to start by congratulating Padraig Harrington on his second consecutive major victory. Over the past 13 months, he has gone from one of the best without a major to one of the best, period. As for Sergio Garcia, maybe next time. Speaking of Harrington and Garcia, they will both be stalwarts on Nick Faldo’s favored European Ryder Cup team next month.

The European golfers still have a couple more events to lock in their spots on the team, but the eight guaranteed United States spots have already been decided. Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Kenny Perry, Jim Furyk, Anthony Kim, Justin Leonard, Ben Curtis, and Boo Weekley locked in their spots after the PGA Championship. Captain Paul Azinger has a few weeks to decide the remaining four golfers that will represent the Americans at Valhalla.

Azinger could go down the list and pick the next four in line, but that’s not happening. Unfortunately, after looking at the standings, it’s hard to find four guys worthy of a spot on the team. That doesn’t bode well for the U.S. chances, but you never know. I’ve studied the standings long and hard, and these are the four guys most worthy of a captain’s pick.

Golf Talk [Episode 097]

Padraig Harrington, current World #1 (except in the official rankings, where he’s still #3), wins again.

Golf Talk PodcastPadraig Harrington wins back-to-back majors with a pair of Sunday 66s at Oakland Hills. We break down the final major of 2008 and talk Paddy, Sergio, Ben, Phil, and others, plus Amanda Blumenherst and a whole lot more in this episode of Golf Talk.

You can subscribe to the RSS feed for our podcasts here or download Episode 097 as an MP4 file. For those who want to subscribe to us in iTunes, click here.

For this week’s Show Notes – links to articles we discuss in the show and additional information – just read on.